The Best Worst Ten: The Final Standings

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Miami (Ohio) is your 2013 Best Worst Ten Champion
Miami (Ohio) is your 2013 Best Worst Ten Champion. (USATSI)

Anybody can put together a list of the best teams in the country, but figuring out the worst ten teams is a lot more fun.

Most college football fans were paying attention to the chaos caused in the BCS race on Saturday with Alabama's incredible loss to Auburn, and Ohio State managing to hang on against Michigan. But the BCS standings weren't the only standings being turned on its head.

The Best Worst Ten experience some huge shakeups of its own.

The No. 1 team in the BCS lost and the No. 1 team in the Best Worst Ten won. In fact, going into the weekend we had four winless teams remaining. By the time the dust settled we were left with only two. And since teams in the Best Worst Ten won't be going to any bowl games or conference championships, these are our final rankings for the 2013 season.

No. 10 California 1-11 (Last week: Unranked)

Average Score: 23.0-45.9

Best Win: 37-30 vs. Portland State

Worst Loss: 41-24 at Colorado

This Week: Off

Sonny Dykes' first season at Cal didn't go very well, though while it's hard to make excuses for a team that finished 1-11, there are actually some that make the Bears look a bit better. The biggest being that of Cal's 11 losses, four came to teams that will be ranked in the top 20 this week. And there's also the fact that only two of the 11 losses came against teams that didn't finish the season eligible for a bowl game (Northwestern, Colorado). In fact, according to the Sagarin Ratings used in the BCS formula, Cal played the third-toughest schedule of any team in the country this season.

No. 9 Purdue 1-11 (UR)

Average Score: 14.9-38.0

Best Win: 20-14 vs. Indiana State

Worst Loss: 42-7 at Cincinnati

This Week: L 56-36 at Indiana

Unlike Cal, Purdue can't really use the schedule as an excuse. I list Cincinnati as the worst loss because even though the Bearcats are 9-2 on the season, the week after it beat Purdue by 35 points it lost to Illinois by 28. Also, Purdue's lone win this season came in a six-point victory over an FCS team in Indiana State. An FCS team that finished its own season 1-11. The Boilermakers were shutout twice this season and scored 20 points or less in eight games.

No. 8 Western Michigan 1-11 (9)

Average Score: 17.2-35.4

Best Win: 31-30 at UMass

Worst Loss:27-23 vs. Nicholls State

This Week: L 33-14 at Northern Illinois

Three straight teams we've covered that had a first-year coach in 2013, I'm beginning to notice a trend. Firing your coach is the quickest path to glory apparently. P.J. Fleck's team may have in fact been rowing the boat this year, it's just they rowed it right into those jagged rocks along the shoreline most of the time.

No. 7 Eastern Michigan 2-10 (8)

Average Score: 18.8-45.2

Best Win: 35-32 OT vs. Western Michigan

Worst Loss: 50-25 at Army

This Week: L 42-10 at Central Michigan

Eastern Michigan won't have its first year coach until next season after firing Ron English earlier this season. Now, it may seem strange to you that EMU is ranked ahead of WMU even though the Eagles beat the Broncos this season, and that's because it is. However, while EMU and WMU were similar offensively and in strength of schedule, it was EMU's inability to stop anybody on defense that gave it the edge here.

No. 6 Massachusetts 1-11 (7)

Average Score: 11.7-33.0

Best Win: 17-10 vs. Miami (Ohio)

Worst Loss: 24-14 vs. Maine

This Week: L 51-23 at Ohio

The Minutemen put up a strong effort against Ohio this week as a last-gasp push to try to climb higher in the standings, but it just wasn't enough to crack the top five. However, given the proud history of this program since joining the FBS level, I have no doubt this team will make yet another push for the crown next season.

No. 5 Southern Mississippi 1-11 (1)

Average Score: 17.1-41.9

Best Win: 62-27 at UAB

Worst Loss: 24-23 vs. FIU

This Week: W 62-27 at UAB

It was right there for you, Southern Miss. You were our No. 1 team heading into the weekend, and you hadn't won a game in nearly two years and hadn't managed to score more than 23 points in any game this season. So what do you do? You go and score 62 (!!!!) points against UAB on Saturday to win your first game and throw away a title. Seriously, this Southern Miss team scoring 62 points in a single game is crazier than the end of the Iron Bowl.

No. 4 Idaho 1-11 (5)

Average Score: 18.2-46.8

Best Win: 26-24 vs. Temple

Worst Loss: 59-38 vs. Old Dominion

This Week: L 24-16 at New Mexico State

The Vandals had a big test this week against a fellow ranked team in New Mexico State, and they passed it. Though things were a bit too close for comfort throughout the game. Still, with their loss to the Aggies the Vandals move up to No. 4 on the season. It's not the top three, but it's still a season to be proud of.

No. 3 Florida International 1-11 (4)

Average Score: 9.8-37.0

Best Win: 24-23 vs. Southern Miss

Worst Loss: 34-13 vs. Bethune-Cookman

This Week: L 21-6 at FAU

Oh what could have been for FIU. It seemed somewhat harmless at the time, but in early October the Panthers kicked a field goal with six minutes left in a game against Southern Miss. That field goal would prove to be a game-winner. Had Panthers kicker Austin Taylor only managed to miss the 27-yard attempt there is a very good chance the FIU would be in the top spot right now. Instead it has to settle for third place.

No. 2 Georgia State 0-12 (3)

Average Score: 18.8-36.7

Best Win: None

Worst Loss: 42-14 vs. Chattanooga

This Week: L 38-17 vs. South Alabama

When we began doing The Best Worst Ten this season it was Georgia State in the No. 1 spot for the first few weeks. But then the Panthers just started playing a bit too well. Not good enough to actually win a game and destroy their chances, but well enough to allow other contenders to close the gap and eventually pass them. Life is full of regrets, and who knows how long Georgia State will rue this missed opportunity?

No. 1 Miami (Ohio) 0-12 (2)

Average Score: 9.75-35.7

Best Win: None

Worst Loss: 17-10 at UMass

This Week: L 55-14 at Ball State

Miami (Ohio) only ended up as our champion because Southern Miss blew it, but darn it, the Redhawks gave a championship performance to get here. Ball State outgained Miami by over 300 yards in its 41-point blowout victory. So even though the Redhawks did not control their own destiny, they took care of what they could control and today they're champions because of it.

No longer ranked: New Mexico State, Hawaii

Last week's rankings can be found here.

 
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